Dr. James E. Odenkirk came into this world on May 31, 1928 in Mansfield, Ohio. He saw his first Cleveland Indians game in 1936 at Municipal Stadium during the famous Greater Cleveland Exposition. For the next eighty years, Jim has been noted as one of the Indians top three fans.
He graduated from Ontario (Ohio) High School in 1946 and five days later enlisted in the U.S. Army at Fort Jackson, South Carolina as a World War II veteran. Upon his discharge from the service, the energetic young man earned two degrees at The Ohio State University (BA and MA) and his doctorate in Education at Columbia University.
For the next fifty years, Jim's teaching and coaching assignments included four high schools, three colleges and universities, and finally twenty-five years as professor at Arizona State University. He was also a visiting professor in Australia, Beijing Institute and Northwestern University in Xian, China.
Odenkirk has written numerous published articles on American sports and political history. Included are three books as follows: "Plain Dealing," a biography of Gordon Cobbledick (1993), sportswriter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and a member of Baseball's Hall of Fame; "Frank J. Lausche, Ohio's Great Political Maverick," (2005); and "Of Tribes and Tribulations, The Early Decades of the Cleveland Indians," (2015).
In addition, Jim has received numerous awards of achievement within his profession. He and his wife Benita live in Chandler, AZ close to the Cleveland Indians spring training camp.